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Published On: Thu, Jul 19th, 2018

Delta Online Publishers Raise Alarm Over Threat To Life Of Its Member By Okowa’s Aides

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa

LAGOS JULY 19TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Delta State Online Publishers Forum (DOPF) has raised the alarm over threat to the life of one of its members, Mr. Albert Ograka, Publisher of www.blanknewsonline.com by officials of Delta State government while executing his lawful duty as a journalist.
A press statement signed by the Secretary of DOPF, Mr Shdrack Onitsha made available to URHOBOTODAY.COM said Ograka life was threatened by Delta State government officials following a report published in his online website which bothers on alleged N500m fraud in Delta State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), an agency of the state government.
In the statement, DOPF condemned in totality the idea of bulling, harassing, intimidating and threatening journalists who are doing their legitimate business with little or no provocation by the agents of Delta state government.
The group revealed that Mr Ograka specifically indicted the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Delta State Governor, Mr. Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, Delta State Directorate of Orientation, Mr. Eugene Uzum and Delta South PDP Chairman, Emman Amgbaduba who threatened him on telephone with respect to the publication.
“Though when we called Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Mr. Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu who allegedly called and requested that the said report should be pulled down and apology if not, he will send the operatives of the Nigeria Police and Department of State Security (DSS) to arrest Mr. Albert Ograka, he denied the allegation.
“When DOLF equally contacted the Directorate of Orientation, Delta state, Mr. Eugene Uzum, he also denied issuing any threat to him, but only called his attention that the story was false, and that his facts are not correct. Both government officials assured DOPF that the Delta State Government is not after any journalist, much more Mr. Albert Ograka and that he is safe to go about his business without fear.
“As was told, statutory anti corruption agency who were reported to have carried out the said arrest had not denied the said report since it was published, then we make bold to condemned the idea of bullying, harassing, intimidating and threatening journalists who are doing their legitimate business by officials of Delta state government that has enjoyed robust media coverage from our members.
“We had expected officials of the state government to, in the first instances with the level of cooperation given to this government by DOPF, reach out to its leadership instead of resorting to direct threat as we have been briefed by our member. This we think is the right thing to do.
“However, we want to give the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Mr. Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu who was alleged to have called and requested that the said report be taken down or would launch security agents against our member the benefit of the doubt to state his direct reaction to the report that has warranted this threat to life alarm.
“We call on the CPS to the Delta state governor, Mr. Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu and the Executive Assistant to the governor, Directorate of Orientation, Delta state, Mr. Eugene Uzum, who were alleged to have made the threat phone calls to strengthened their personal relationship with journalists to avoid misgiving of this nature capable of jeopardizing our corporate mutual relationship with the government.
“While calling on our members to ensure that every of their publications are within the ethic of the journalistic profession, we also called on other agents of the government who want to leverage on the said incident to veer their anger on journalists and our members to trend carefully because DOPF would not stand against itself for any reason for any overzealous government official. We therefore by this statement put members of the public on notice to know who to hold responsible in case any harm come near Mr. Albert Ograka and his family,’ the statement disclosed.

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